Tips from Kurt Vonnegut

1. Find a subject you care about.
2. Do not ramble, though.
3. Keep it simple.
4. Have the guts to cut.
5. Sound like yourself.
6. Say what you mean to say.
7. Pity the readers.
– Kurt Vonnegut

Exchange ‘Pity the readers’ with ‘Pity the audience’ and this makes for really solid advice when preparing for a talk.

(via Design Feast’s Quotes Section)

When It Counts

“You are
What you do
When it counts”
– Armor


(via John Maeda)

Work

“The professional loves her work. She is invested in it wholeheartedly. But she does not forget that the work is not her.”
Steven Pressfield

The Man In The Arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”, delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910. Download PDF of complete speech.

The Generous Skeptic

“The generous skeptic has insight into your field, your strengths and weaknesses. She wants you to succeed, but maybe, just maybe, sees something you don’t.

When the generous skeptic speaks up, she’s taking a risk. If you respond to her generosity by arguing, by shutting down, by avoiding eye contact or becoming defensive, you’ve blown it. You’ve taken a gift and wasted it, and disrespected the gift giver at the same time.”

– Seth Godin, The Generous Skeptic

Insomnia

“Insomnia is a glamorous term for thoughts you forgot to have in the day.”
– Alain de Botton

“If you’re betrayed, release disappointment at once. By that way, the bitterness has no time to take root.”
Toba Beta

I Want to Be a Millennial When I Retire

“Max gets up when he likes and does what he loves. He avoids most of the things that most of us numerically successful people complain about all the time: racing from one unreasonable deadline to the next, sitting in unproductive meetings and watching simple things made complicated by committees.”

Beautiful article: I Want to Be a Millennial When I Retire, by Jim Sollisch

Amuse Their Minds

Plato

(via JP)

Values

“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.”
― Albert Einstein

Responsibility

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
– Winston Churchill

Be Generous.

“Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.”
– Maria Popova

Taken from Maria’s very personal post: 7 Things I Learned in 7 Years of Reading, Writing, and Living

Being Lonely

“I was never lonely in space. The loneliest people live in big cities. Being lonely is a state of mind.”
– Commander Chris Hadfield


(via Michael)

Advice

“A pint of example is worth a gallon of advice.”
– Anonymous

Good Leadership

“Good leadership is always human. It takes time and energy. It is hard work. Which is why good leadership is so special when we find it.”
Simon Sinek

Clear Results

“Clear intentions and clear purpose begets clear results.”
Pharrell Williams

Connected

“He who is contented is rich.”
– Lao Tzu

Are you a pleasure to have around?

“The person who gets the gig is the person who knows how to hang. Nobody hires you because you’re the best musician.”
— Larry Legend.

Watch my studiomate Larry Legend’s CreativeMornings talk.

A Good Traveller

“A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”
– Lao Tzu

Three Rules of Work

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
– Albert Einstein

Nothing

“There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.”
― Bill Watterson

Sell Your Ignorance

“Sell your expertise and you have a limited repertoire. Sell your ignorance and you have an unlimited repertoire. He was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject. The journey of not knowing to knowing was his work.”
— Richard Saul Wurman on Charles Eames

(via)

Two-Way Street

“Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superiors; care for one’s crew.”
– Grace Hopper

(via)

Weird –> Great

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